I. noun Date: 14th century 1. a. archaic urgent or earnest solicitation b. instigation, request <
am writing to you at the instance of my client
c. obsolete an impelling cause or motive 2. a. archaic exception b. an individual illustrative of a category or brought forward in support or disproof of a generalization c. obsolete token, sign 3. the institution and prosecution of a lawsuit ; suit 4. a step, stage, or situation viewed as part of a process or series of events <
prefers, in this instance, to remain anonymous — Times Literary Supplement
Synonyms: instance, case, illustration, example, sample, specimen mean something that exhibits distinguishing characteristics in its category. instance applies to any individual person, act, or thing that may be offered to illustrate or explain <
an instance of history repeating itself
. case is used to direct attention to a real or assumed occurrence or situation that is to be considered, studied, or dealt with <
a case of mistaken identity
. illustration applies to an instance offered as a means of clarifying or illuminating a general statement <
a telling illustration of Murphy's Law
. example applies to a typical, representative, or illustrative instance or case <
a typical example of bureaucratic waste
. sample implies a part or unit taken at random from a larger whole and so presumed to be typical of its qualities <
show us a sample of your work
. specimen applies to any example or sample whether representative or merely existent and available <
one of the finest specimens of the jeweler's art
. II. transitive verb (instanced; instancing) Date: 1601 1. to illustrate or demonstrate by an instance 2. to mention as a case or example ; cite

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • instance — [ ɛ̃stɑ̃s ] n. f. • v. 1240 « application, soin »; lat. instantia 1 ♦ Sollicitation pressante. Vx au sing., sauf dans Demander avec instance. ⇒ insistance. « mon camarade me fit de telles instances » (Balzac). Mod. Céder aux instances de qqn. ⇒… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • instance — INSTANCE. s. f. Poursuite, sollicitation pressante. Grande instance. faire instance, de grandes instances, de vives instances, des instances pressantes auprés de quelqu un, envers quelqu un. je l ay fait à son instance. je l en ay sollicité avec… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • instance — n Instance, case, illustration, example, sample, specimen mean a concrete thing which has or manifests the qualities, characters, or nature of a type, a class, or a group. Instance applies to an individual person or thing brought forth in support …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Instance — In stance, n. [F. instance, L. instantia, fr. instans. See {Instant}.] [1913 Webster] 1. The act or quality of being instant or pressing; urgency; solicitation; application; suggestion; motion. [1913 Webster] Undertook at her instance to restore… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • instance — [in′stəns] n. [ME instaunce < OFr instance < L instantia, a standing upon or near, being present < instans: see INSTANT] 1. Archaic an urgent plea; persistent solicitation 2. an example; case; illustration 3. a step in proceeding;… …   English World dictionary

  • instance — in·stance / in stəns/ n [French, from Late Latin instantia, from Latin, the fact of being present or impending, vehemence in speech, urgency, from instant instans insistent, pressing, from present participle of instare to be pressing, stand upon] …   Law dictionary

  • instance — ► NOUN 1) an example or single occurrence of something. 2) a particular case. ► VERB ▪ cite as an example. ● for instance Cf. ↑for instance ● in the first (or second etc.) …   English terms dictionary

  • instance — (n.) mid 14c., urgency, from O.Fr. instance eagerness, anxiety, solicitation (13c.), from L. instantia presence, effort intention; earnestness, urgency, lit. a standing near, from instans (see INSTANT (Cf. instant)). In Scholastic logic, a fact… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Instance — In stance, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Instanced}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Instancing}.] To mention as a case or example; to refer to; to cite; as, to instance a fact. H. Spenser. [1913 Webster] I shall not instance an abstruse author. Milton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Instance — In stance, v. i. To give an example. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] This story doth not only instance in kingdoms, but in families too. Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • instance — [n] case, situation case history, case in point, detail, example, exemplification, exponent, ground, illustration, item, occasion, occurrence, particular, precedent, proof, reason, representative, sample, sampling, specimen, time; concepts… …   New thesaurus

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